Dem 51
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GOP 49
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New York Court Orders New District Maps

As far as New York Democrats are concerned, things are finally going according to plan. They tried to get away with a highly gerrymandered map in 2022, and got slapped down by a staunchly Republican judge in a staunchly Republican county. This decision was upheld by the New York Court of Appeals, which is that state's highest court. The result of all these machinations was a map that was ultimately pretty kind to Republicans, and probably netted the GOP 3-5 House seats as compared to what they would have had by the gerrymandered map. As a reminder, a flip of 5 seats (i.e., the upper edge of that) would have meant Democratic control of the House of Representatives.

The rules (a.k.a. the Constitution) say the districts have to be redrawn once every 10 years. There is nothing prohibiting two or more redrawings (is that a word?), however. And yesterday, a New York redrawing came closer to being a reality, as a New York appellate court (though not the Court of Appeals) struck down the current map, and ordered the process to begin anew. That means that an independent commission will be tasked with drawing a "fair" map; if the commission's work is twice deemed unsatisfactory by the legislature, then the legislature can draw its own map and approve it.

There's still much drama ahead, and with diminishing time before the 2024 election. Yesterday's decision will be appealed by the New York GOP, and eventually the Court of Appeals will make a final decision. Then, assuming the current status quo holds, the redistricting process will have to play out. The whole point here is for the Democrats to gain seats, so if the "fair" map developed by the commission doesn't do that, then the blue team will impose its own map and hope that the more-liberal-than-last-year Court of Appeals approves. The Democrats will also have to decide exactly how many seats they want to go for. If they satisfy themselves with, say, +2, then they are more likely to get away with that as opposed to shooting for the moon. It's really quite the chess game. (Z)

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